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IP Protection & Enforcement in the EU – New Report Highlights

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A report via the European Commission focuses on the importance of protecting & enforcing intellectual property in the EU.

Much discussion around Chinese intellectual property theft has been about how it touches on the US, but a recent report claims it could cost the country $225 billion-$600 billion per year – its impact elsewhere is not as known.

The incidence of Chinese economic espionage is a big issue for countries in the EU too. A report issued by the European Commission observed that China continues to be a “Priority 1 country for the EU because of the scale & persistence of difficulties in intellectual property rights protection & enforcement.”

IPR Enforcement

The report (.PDF) also conceded that IPR enforcement relating to ‘third countries’ e.g. India, Indonesia, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, & Nigeria – some of the bloc’s other trading partners – remains a source of concern. All countries, except for Nigeria are “Priority 2” countries; China is the only “Priority 1” country, according to the EU.

Also outlined is the fact that as much as 82% of all EU exports is generated by sectors dependant on intellectual property & ensuring a high level of IP protection is a part of all EU trade agreement. Because of its importance, the EU Commission says its actively involved in strengthening the protection & enforcement of IP rights, as it relates to 3rd countries.

IP Laws

The US National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center, a govt. centre that’s responsible for coordinating how the US responds to IP laws, part of of the US Immigration & Customs Enforcement, recently re-stated that it was fully equipped to continue normal work, in the face of the ongoing pandemic.

“Whether protecting against criminals hoping to cash in during a pandemic, or simply guarding against other unscrupulous activity during public health emergencies, our mission remains firmly committed to doing everything we can to help protect the lives and safety of the American people, especially those most vulnerable,” Steve Francis, the Director of the IPR Center, observed.

IP Theft

IP theft continues to be a major issue in DC.

Earlier this Jun, some US senators introduced legislation aimed to combat the theft of US IP via  the Safeguarding American Innovation Act.

Advanced by just a handful of US senators – the bill would punish individuals who fail to disclose foreign support on federal grant applications, strengthen the State Department’s authority to stop visas to certain foreign nationals seeking access to sensitive technologies, & lower the reporting threshold for US schools & universities receiving foreign gifts from $250k to $50k.

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